It’s been a year since Hurricane Irene hit parts of Central NewYork. Last year this time, Eyewitness News spent time speaking with residentsas they cleaned out their homes, applied for FEMA aid, and looked at the flooddamage and wondered what they were going to do.
Eyewitness News Reporter Jennifer Lee spoke with residentsin the Village of Whitesboro Tuesday night on how they’ve recovered.
“The water was up over our fuse box. We lost ourfurnace, washer, dryer and water heater,” explained Jim Lawler, a long-timeWhitesboro resident.
Lawler says it was his first time ever experiencingsomething like it. “Debris from other people’s yards was floating down. Theirtrash came this way,” said Lawler.
“People lost probably a lot of memories,” said MikeBoehlert.
Jim and his neighbor Mike live on the corner of Mohawk and SauquoitStreets in the Whitesboro.
They say this time last year most of their neighbors wereunder water. It was so deep that they say children were out in their row boatsplaying. But, they say Hurricane Irene wasn’t the one that did the most damage.
Just two weeks later, Tropical Storm Lee caused a biggerheadache for them.
“I had my fingers crossed it wasn’t going to get worsethan the first one. The second one was a hell of a lot worse,” said Lawler.
Community members say the Sauquoit Creek overflowed multipletimes last year. And they’re relieved tofinally see the state fix the problem. “They dredged out the creek overhere. I imagine it will get a lot better over here as the water will run off,”said Lawler.
Although the creek may be cleaned out, Mike says it willnever be the same for him and his neighbors.
“[Jim] had years of stuff. You could walk in here andknew where everything was. After the flood you didn’t know where anything was,”said Boehlert.
They say FEMA covered some damages, replacing their washerand dryers. And, even though personal items can never be replaced, they saylife goes on.